Balmer Lawn Hotel reveals £4m expansion plans

Balmer Lawn Hotel has submitted a planning application to the New Forest National Park Authority to undergo a £4m expansion plan.

The plans include the addition of 38 en-suite twin bedrooms, along with garden access and outside seating for ground floor rooms, and the addition of balconies to first-floor rooms. 

The site’s Beaulieu function room will also be expanded from its current capacity of 120 to 240, which will enable the hotel to “compete effectively with the larger hotels in the New Forest” and “attract business that currently cannot be accommodated”.

Solar and photovoltaic panels, as well as a living roof, are also included in the plans as a means of reducing energy consumption, while the hotel also plans to plant over 100 new trees within its grounds. 

The scheme will also create a one-way traffic flow around the hotel to ease parking and congestion, while new parking spaces are set to be created. The hotel said this will create a “sense of arrival”, with the main entrance enhanced by a pedestrianised entrance and drop-off parking facility.

Owners Chris and Alison Wilson have reportedly worked on the scheme for nearly two years, working closely with general manager Michael Clitheroe and architect Steve Sherlock, with aim to “enhance the look and feel of the hotel”.

The hotel said: “Chris and Alison have invested heavily in the hotel and are very proud of the continual improvements they have been able to achieve over their 23 years, but they believe that this is the next step to ensure the sustainability of the h otel for the next 50 years. 

“It will allow the hotel to compete effectively with larger hotels and win new business that we have been unable to secure as we are just not large enough in terms of bedrooms and function space to accommodate.”

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